Book Review: Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Book: Working Stiff by Rachel Caine

Published August 2011 by Roc|306 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Revivalist #1

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Bryn Davis knows working at Fairview Mortuary isn’t the most glamorous career choice, but at least it offers stable employment–until she discovers her bosses using a drug that resurrects the clientele as part of an extortion racket. Now, Bryn faces being terminated–literally, and with extreme prejudice.

With the help of corporate double-agent Patrick McCallister, Bryn has a chance to take down the bigger problem–pharmaceutical company Pharmadene, which treats death as the ultimate corporate loyalty program. She’d better do it fast, before she becomes a zombie slave–a real working stiff. She’d be better off dead…

This is a book that I’ve had on my shelf for a while, and it’s weird I haven’t read it yet, especially considering I’ve really liked Caine’s other series.

I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, but I did like it.  It is a cool idea, though.  I mean, a drug that can resurrect people and the company behind it.  It just wasn’t as fun as her other books, particularly her Morganville and Weather Wardens series.  I mean, there is some banter and sarcasm, but…I just wasn’t as into it as I thought I would be.

It’s very different from Outcast Season and Weather Wardens (her adult urban fantasy/paranormal series) and her Morganville Vampire series.  And even her steampunk Library Of Alexandria series.  You’d think I’d be all over her take on zombies, but I wasn’t.  It just wasn’t what I thought it would be.  I was bored and not interested in Bryn and the pharmaceutical company and what they were up to.  It was dull and slow, and it felt like nothing was happening.

Apparently, I’m not going to love every single thing she writes, but I was still hoping to like this one more than I actually did.  I feel like I’m pointing out the obvious, but I had a hard time getting through the book.  I think, if it were any other author, I might have not finished the book, but I’ve enjoyed her books enough that I read more of it than I would have otherwise.

Things felt muddled, and in terms of the world, it just wasn’t there.  I wish it were, obviously, but maybe the other books, if I ever pick them up, are a lot better.  Maybe this series needs some time to get to the level of story I’ve come to expect from Caine.  As much as I like her books, I just don’t know if it’s enough to continue this series.

2 stars.  Working Stiff has a really cool premise, but unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me.

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Book Review: Slave To Sensation by Nalini Singh

Book: Slave To Sensation by Nalini Singh

Published September 2006 by Berkeley Sensation|338 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Psy-Changling #1

Genre: Adult Romance/Paranormal Romance

Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind-and none of the heart.

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation” – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities – or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

I really liked Slave To Sensation!  I don’t read a lot of romance, and I feel like I always say that I’m going to read more of it, but I never seem to do that.

I’ve had this book on my bookshelf for ages, and I figured it was about time to read it.  Partly because I was in the mood, but also because I’ve been trying to read some of my owned but unread books in an effort to see what I want to keep and what ends up being donated to the library.

I did like the concept- two very different people, and two very different worlds.  I wanted to know more about both, and I really liked what I saw of the world Lucas and Sascha live in.  I was especially impressed with the world building, considering it’s a romance.  Granted, it’s a paranormal romance, but even then, you get a lot more then what you’d typically see from other books in the genre.  I liked both the Psys, who have psychic abilities, and the Changelings, who are shifters.  Both are very, very different, but I’m curious to learn more.  They both seem to be at war with each other, and I really want to know how it plays out.

As for the romance, I liked Lucas and Sascha together.  They have their obstacles, of course, and they do get their happily ever after.  It is a romance, after all.  But there is no insta-love here, and things felt very natural between them.  I guess it usually does with romance, but I also don’t read enough of it to know for sure.  I’m just going off of what I have read.  I think I’m also comparing it against the romance you see in YA, which is unfair since romance as a genre is very, very different then YA.

I definitely rooted for them, and I’m glad things worked out for them.  It was hard not to, but they really do belong together, and they really are cute together.  I have the feeling that the other books in the series won’t focus on Lucas and Sascha, but that they’ll make an appearance, and we’ll still get to see how things work out for them.

4 stars.  I really liked it, and while I’m not rushing to read the next book in the series, I still can’t wait to see what happens next.